With the COVID-19 pandemic causing so much destruction to the public health of the United States, it may be hard to see that the healthcare industries have not only been coping but in some sectors have still been expanding and growing. Even as we are all forced to work and stay in our homes, with only essential workers being given the go-ahead to travel to work, technology continues to develop and grow to be more sophisticated. It also continues to be implemented into various industries, improving the ways that they work and health care is no exception. With the addition of algorithms and machine learning into healthcare, a wide range of services can be improved‚Äîfrom artificial intelligence being used to detect cases of lung cancer in China (to make up for the lower numbers of radiology specialists) to simple machine learning adding new and improved ways for doctor’s offices to book appointments.
Technology is the real difference-maker in the expansion of healthcare. Here are examples of healthcare sectors that are growing the fastest.
Mental Health Care
When it comes to health care sectors that have seen real, tangible growth over the last decade or so, then you need to look no further than mental health and wellbeing treatments. There is a couple of main reasons for this; namely, the shared knowledge and research of mental health issues has expanded, like psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists and all other forms of psychotherapists have had more opportunity to work more closely and allow practices to come up with new treatment plan options for their patients that move away from the traditional medication-based methods.
The second reason is a lot more to do with the public’s perception of mental health and the growing knowledge of its link with physical health matters. Seeking professional help for mental health issues is simply not as stigmatized as it previously was. Although the stigma is still present, the implementation of new technologies and methods is helping to eradicate it. One such example is the WithTherapy website. Ordinarily, in order to find the right therapist to deal with an individual’s mental health issues, potential patients would find speaking to someone directly to be difficult, and thus those issues would often go unchecked. However, searching for “therapist near me” via the WithTherapy site will allow the patients to choose the right therapist for them, but have search results based on their own, unique set of circumstances. The use of chatbots and search algorithms in this instance retains the patient’s anonymity and allows plenty of peace of mind as well.
Ultimately, no amount of modern technology is going to replace the need for doctors, nurses, and all other healthcare workers. Technology is just not sophisticated enough to provide care for any living creature’s health, and can only advise and assist at this point in time. But healthcare, as a sector, is larger than hospitals and doctor’s practices and includes many peripheral sectors as well. Medical research, training, and pharmaceuticals all fall under the healthcare banner of industry, and technology is feeding into all of them, too, improving practices and helping to ensure that compassionate care is at its pinnacle.
When new medicines are introduced, it is after a series of clinical trials, tests, and potentially years of research. Much has been made of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed for the sale and ownership of the hemp plant, and the cannabidiol (CBD) extracts that it provides. For many, this was a relief, as there has been a large amount of speculation as to the medical benefits that cannabis has to offer. For others, it was an opportunity to draw a divide between the properties of CBD and their effects, and the psychoactive element of THC, which is found in marijuana plants. CBD is still not yet recognized as a medicine, and there is still much research left to fully determine if it does indeed have truly healthy effects. However, so long as there is less than 0.3% THC in the CBD product that you are purchasing, you are legally allowed to use it for its purported effects of calming overactive minds and alleviating discomfort in joints and muscles. There is even pet relief CBD oil for our furry friends, and pet owners can consult with a veterinarian to see if CBD may help their pups feel calmer or relieve joint discomfort safely.
CBD as a medicinal pharmaceutical is still yet to be realized, but medical research is ongoing. With more amendments to Bills and regulations, it is expected to expand into new areas.
In the United States, 5 of the fastest growing industries are in healthcare and social care. As part of that, the latest trends in the healthcare industry show that there is never really a fastest growing sector within it, as the whole industry evolves on a continual basis. Taking this last year as a prime example of this; medical research has been heavily devoted to determining the cause and spread of the Coronavirus, as a way to battle its effects. However, unlike many other industries, there is rarely a shift around of staff to accommodate new plans, and so sections of the healthcare industry will often grow in tandem.
Doctors have also expressed encouragement of new technologies, going so far as to say that the Internet of Things (IoT) would help with patient care in the long run, and have expressed a preference for new technology to help boost the older, traditional methods. If we are to take cancer treatment in Westwood, NJ, provided by the Regional Cancer Care Associates, as an example of this, it would be evident that, although they still provide the chemotherapy and radiology that is almost synonymous with cancer treatment, they are also performing over 300 clinical trials into new cancer treatments and technologies. It is this fusion between the old methods and the new that is taking healthcare into the future, and technology is bridging the gap.
If you were an investor, now would be a good time to look up buying stocks in healthcare. With the growing need for new medicines and treatments, as well as the medical breakthroughs in prosthetics and cancer care, stocks in healthcare are not only likely to increase but are going to help a lot more people in the long run too.